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Decentralisation, or the transfer of decision-making power and funds from central to local governments, is one of the most important reform movements in Latin America. Recent constitutional changes in Ecuador have contributed to the democratisation and empowerment of municipal governments. Case studies of three municipalities in highland Ecuador examine new opportunities for NGO-municipal government collaboration. NGOs have considerable experience of working locally and can help municipalities with planning and capacity building. Municipalities offer NGOs the legitimacy and local accountability they may lack, as well as the means both to extend project activities beyond isolated communities and to maintain the results once NGO assistance ends.

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